Sunday was a special day for all Indian and Pakistani fans. The epic encounter between these two teams has always drawn interest and people over the years. The match between Australia and South Africa turned out to be a massacre by Shane Watson who made 70 and picked 2 wickets to bag the man of the match award. South Africa are all but out of the tournament and so would have been India if it had lost today. The pressure was on the Indians and it seemed evident from the team Dhoni selected. He took no chance and brought back our best hitter into the team. Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat on a typical slow subcontinent wicket.
Imran Nazir and Mohammed Hafeez walked into bat and the bowling was opened by Zaheer Khan. The first over was a poor one and Zaheer was wayward in his bowling, giving away 13 runs. Irfan bowled from the other end and he immediately tasted success when he had Nazir lbw for 8 runs. Shahid Afridi walked in as a surprise move and he started off with his usual flair, hitting a couple of beautiful boundaries. But he didn’t last long when he holed out to mid wicket off the bowling of Balaji for 14. Yuvraj then came into the attack and picked up two wickets in two overs when he had Nasir Jamshed and Kamran Akmal caught behind. Virat Kohli kept things tight at the other end by bowling a couple of good overs and picking up the wicket of the Pakistani skipper Hafeez when he inside edged one on to the stumps. Pakistan were in a spot of trouble at that moment when they had lost half their side inside 10 overs.
Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal walked in and tried to repair the damage by hitting some good shots and putting the Indian Bowlers under pressure. They put on almost 50 runs in quick time when Ashwin came in and removed both the batsmen by bowling his trademark variations. From then on there was no fight back from the Pakistanis, who got bowled out for 128 in 19.4 overs. The wickets were shared between Ashwin (2),Balaji (3) and Yuvraj (2).
Pakistan were looking down the barrel with just 128 on on the board which was a below par score on this wicket. It was good to see Virender Sehwag back again at the top with Gautam Gambhir opening the innings. Raza Hasan, the promising left arm spinner, opened the bowling for Pakistan and he immediately gave a break through when he caught Gambhir off his own bowling in the second ball of the match. Virat then walked in and put up a very good partnership with Sehwag and put up 74 runs in 10 overs before Sehwag holed out to long off, of the bowling off Afridi. Yuvraj Singh came in and made sure that there were no more hiccups and finished the game with three overs remaining. Kohli remained not out on 78 off 61 and Yuvraj was on 19 off 16.
India won the match comprehensively and they put up a very good show in all the departments. Kohli got the man of the match to nobody’s surprise. The bowling, which had been receiving the bashing, was looking good today and India can go all the way if they keep putting up these kind of performances.